Macular dystrophy definition derives from the term macula, which stands for a central part of the retina. Retina is the back side of the eye ball, where the receptors and detectors of light are located, and where the image of the outside world is formed.
What is macula?
Macula, the central part of the retina, is the loosely defined part of the retina that contains the highest density of the light receptors. Because of macula, a human can focus their attention very closely to the object that is in the central vision. The human eye is capable of the extremely high resolution, thanks to macula. Outside of the macula, peripheral vision still has high resolution, just not as high as the central vision.
What is dystrophy?
Dystrophy stands for any "strange" or "unusual" occurrence in the given organ, for instance, macular dystrophy stands for unusual visual appearance of the macula, such as the presence of orange or gray spots. Muscular dystrophy stands for unusually weakened muscles, for instance.
The usual meaning of macular dystrophy
Over the course of time, macular dystrophy has come to mean the eye disease that affects the younger population, between the ages of 6 and 20. It has been used for older people recently as well. It is more common to talk about age related disease of the macula as "macular degeneration".
Macular dystrophy in youth is also termed juvenile macular dystrophy, juvenile macular degeneration, Best disease, and Stargardt disease, or Stargardt macular dystrophy.
Additionally, it is presumed that macular dystrophy in youth is mostly of genetic origin, while macular degeneration in elderly more of a consequence of genetic and environmental effects.
Macular dystrophy symptoms
What are the indications that you have macular dystrophy? As we will see later in the section on the possible cures of macular degeneration and macular dystrophy, it is important that you realize early that you have macular dystrophy. You will be better be able to decide what approach, if any, might best suit you. Although you will find in much of the literature that there is no cures of macular dystrophy, the situation after the year 2000 has been rapidly developing and the potential cures are becoming available in the second decade of the second millenium.
Since macula is centrally located in the back of the eye, the first signs of the macular dystrophy will be inability to focus your visual attention, blurry vision, especially blurry central vision, and even dark spot or dark spots in your central field of vision.
For an exhaustive list of macular dystrophy and macular degeneration types, see section macular disease types.